Tags: Sign | the | Dotted | Line

Sign on the Dotted Line

Friday, 28 April 2006 12:00 AM

University of Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was fighting to succeed Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart in the Trojans' starting lineup, may have lost his chance in the early morning hours of Wednesday in an encounter with a USC coed.

He was arrested yesterday by Los Angeles police on suspicion of sexual assault. Bail has been set at $200,000, and the redshirt freshman will be booked very soon, according to LAPD.

The university "takes these things very seriously," Michael Jackson, vice president of student affairs, said. Sanchez has been placed on "interim suspension," meaning he can't attend classes (which end this week in any event) or participate in student activities, pending an investigation.

So far, no one at the university has hired Clinton defender Bob Bennett to trash the victim, or called for her name to be released, or otherwise begun a defense fund for Sanchez. Part of the reason, no doubt, is that the alleged victim is also a USC student. I'd also like to think that at my school (I teach at USC), cooler heads tend to prevail in these circumstances.

But no school is immune from troubles with student-athletes, and Sanchez wasn't the first USC football player to face charges in recent years (one was arrested in 2005, but he was never charged and ultimately transferred), and he probably won't be the last.

On university campuses, athletes are rock stars, and unfortunately, they tend to behave and be treated like them. You don't have to be a lacrosse player at Duke to be part of the problem. The question for those of us who care about our students' lives is how to avoid seeing more of them ruined, boys and girls.

In other areas of life, the answer is obvious. Where there is a danger of different opinions after the fact as to what was and wasn't agreed to, we put it in writing. We absolutely insist on it. A handshake is fine, but a deal requires a contract. Initials, at least.

Some years ago, in a lecture series about rape, I suggested that young men and women should literally initial the condom package before they had sex. There were titters in the audience whenever I mentioned it.

How unromantic could you get? To be sure. Later, I learned, one condom company started producing wrappers with room for initials.

There's nothing romantic about two drunken kids playing with fire with their futures. Notably, those who have real money at stake don't do it so cavalierly.

A friend ran into a British rock star recently, who told him about the detailed consent form that "his managers" insisted that any "ladies" sign before they came upstairs to his hotel room. The consent form, not surprisingly, was a lawyer's version of my condom package - an agreement in advance to engage in sexual intercourse and not complain of rape.

While it would not protect the star from using violent force, it would certainly discourage more garden-variety rape complaints.

As a mother of two teenagers, I wish kids didn't have sex so casually, didn't drink at such a young age and didn't so often mix the two. What is known in the Sanchez case is that he was out at a club earlier in the evening with a false ID.

Most sexual assault allegations on campus involve drugs and alcohol. Get a handle on underage drinking and drug use, and you'll have a handle on the sex problem, as well. But at the very least, the challenge is to make consent a real standard, and one way to do it may be by formalizing the way girls and boys approach it.

Signing on the dotted line, making clear exactly what you do and don't agree to, isn't what you expect to do before having a romantic encounter, but it beats what you have to do when you're arraigned later, and have to pose for the mug shots.

Better to be a little bit embarrassed at the outset than utterly humiliated later. It may not be romantic, but there's no romance in rape for either party.

COPYRIGHT 2006 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.

112

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Pre-2008
University of Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was fighting to succeed Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart in the Trojans' starting lineup, may have lost his chance in the early morning hours of Wednesday in an encounter with a USC coed. He was...
Sign,the,Dotted,Line
691
2006-00-28
Friday, 28 April 2006 12:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved